On 29 April 2014, New Zealand will commemorate 150 years since the Battle of Gate Pā, as well as the subsequent battle of Te Ranga (21 June 1864).
As part of these commemorations, local school children are being encouraged to create models of the battle site at Gate Pā. The official website gives a simple guide for children to make the terrain of Gate Pā as it appeared in April, 1864.
This PDF self-guided-tour brochure includes a map showing how the battlefield has been overlaid by modern-day Tauranga. The brochure also depicts a range of paintings and photographs relating to the two battles.
It is great to see children encouraged into model-making, and becoming enthused about their local military history.
One thought on “School children making models of Battle of Gate Pā”
Good to see the battle commemorated. Nobody remembers it! I went to the site, some years ago, to find almost nothing to show it had ever been there. It’s bang in the middle of suburban Tauranga now, of course. For me one of the more curious historical claims about it was that assertion by Belich that the defences could have stood in the Ypres salient. As we know, Ypres was mostly defended by pill-boxes. But there’s also the fact that Gate Pa was shallow, front-to-back – the British pushed through it in short order and had to back up a bit. I covered it off in both my books on the NZ wars.
Curiously, though I went to university with Belich and had dealings with him then, the only response I’ve had from him over these books came a few years back on Chris Laidlaw’s show. He was on interview. My name was mentioned and Belich promptly got angry and swore. It was kind of flattering to discover that our top historian’s sole response to my work in his territory is not to approach me for an adult discussion – but to get angry, on live radio, to the nation, behind my back and without my even being aware until then that he felt so strongly. It’s still on public record. For obvious reasons I’ve felt disinclined to dignify his outburst by engaging it, but I have to say that it underscored, once again, all the reasons why I chose not to make a career inside the ivory tower.